Saturday, November 19, 2011

Skyrim Sala Bim

Hello everyone and welcome to what just might be our most controversial review yet! I have been heavily debating with myself whether to post this or not, because while I generally do not give a shit about what people think, I really don't want to be that guy. You know the one, well you'll see what I mean...

As you may have gathered from our tweeter (or not) I've been putting a few hours into Skyrim lately on the PC. I'd say I've played for about five hours so far, which probably isn't much considering how people are saying you can spend LITERALLY THOUSANDS OF HOURS doing anything!! But for me, I think it's been enough to decide how I feel about this game.

If I had to sum it up in a word it would be 'neatoring', because while it is neat in some ways it is really boring in many others. First of all, I must give credit where it is due and say that Skyrim is fucking gorgeous. They spent a lot of time getting the details down and while the NPCs still look like robots wearing a thin layer of artificial skin over their cold metal skeleton, the rest of the game looks god damn amazing.

There are also a lot of things you can craft, spells to use and quests to undertake. For the most part they do a decent job of varying the types of quests and how you go about completing them. I enjoy it when a seemingly routine fetch quest opens up into something much more complex. It's just a shame I can't bring myself to experience more of it.

This isn't a knock against Skyrim, but more Bethesda games in general. The writing is all over the place, and while some of the side quests are interesting the main quest has been pretty stupid. Within the first hour of not really trying to do anything, I killed a dragon and found out I am a "Dragonborn" (Sorry, I am not spoilering this shit it's practically on the back of the box) who absorbs dragons souls and then yells dragon words that do magic things. Sorry guys, that's dumb.

Add to that the NPCs who just kind of stand there or move around like creepy androids and I have a hard time investing myself in this world. The AI in this game is so ridiculously stupid that it's hilarious. I'm sure we've all seen the video of a guy putting pots over the NPCs heads so he can steal from them. I was fighting a giant spider in a cave, and when I backed up it just refused to come forward so I pelted him to death with arrows. There are so many ways to exploit the stupid mechanics and break the game that it's just disappointing. I thought they'd have made some progress since Daggerfall.

I can forgive all that (After all, the AI in Dark Souls is pretty dumb and the story isn't great) if the gameplay is fun. Unfortunately it isn't. The first-person combat is as clunky and paper-thin as ever. There are no combos or really anything to do except mash away and block occasionally. Magic is a little better but still not what I'd call deep. My guy just sort of plods around and drains his stamina bar in about 3 seconds even though I've put five levels into it so far. Just going places and doing things starts to feel like a chore. The interface doesn't help by being clunky and annoying at times. It was clearly designed for consoles, but even playing with a 360 controller it doesn't feel that great.

So I guess that's it. Everyone seems to love this game, except for me. It just feels like the clunky Elder Scrolls games I have played before and while it looks amazing and there is a lot to do, I just don't feel like it has made advancements in any of the areas that matter to me. I think it's cool that people really enjoy it, and I wouldn't give them shit for that. I just feel like when a game like this comes out and is super popular, people generally fall into two camps; Those who spooge at the mere mention of it, and those who just want to shit on it because it's popular.

In the end, I guess you could say I think this game deserves a little of both. Spooge and shit. Take that, IGN.

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